Palm Pre dupes iTunes into thinking it’s an iPod

By on May 30, 2009, 9:15 AM
The much anticipated Palm Pre smartphone is about a week away from being released, and while we’ve covered pretty much every newsworthy aspect of the device, some interesting pieces of information keep churning out from around the web. The latest tidbit comes straight from D7: All Things Digital, were Palm executives have confirmed that the Pre will effortlessly sync with Apple’s iTunes by tricking it into thinking it’s an iPod.

Although third-party applications have long been available to allow various MP3 players to sync with iTunes, Palm’s Media Sync feature is fundamentally different in that it actually uses Apple’s vendor and product id so that the Pre is recognized as an Apple device. Older copy-protected songs and, naturally, iPhone apps won’t sync with Palm’s smartphone but otherwise DRM-free songs and even photos from iPhoto will transfer without effort. It will be interesting to see how Apple reacts to this.

Not surprisingly, many of the Palm Pre engineering and development team are former Apple employees, including Jon Rubinstein, one of the designers of the original iPod. The move should provide an easier path for iPhone converts, though it’s also inherently risky, since Apple could just as easily update iTunes to block Palm’s handset from accessing its software – potentially initiating a cat and mouse game between the two.

User Comments: 6

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Guest said:

Any windows mobile handset can do this too. The problem is that the Pre will not playback all iTunes content, especial the key protected content. Only an iPod. Apple Touch or IPhone will do that.

I am no iphone user, I am a Wndows Mobile user, but I have to wonder do you just let PR people from companies (in this case Palm) write your content on weekends?

Guest said:

The Pre's ability to connect with iTunes is not an infringement of any type. Apple has a tech note on THEIR website that lists a number of non-Apple MP3 players that iTunes will support:

Connecting other MP3 players to iTunes actually makes perfect sense for Apple. When music purchased through iTunes was locked by DRM, it could only be put onto iPods for mobile listening. Now that iTunes music is DRM free, Apple has opened their platform up for a huge number of non-iPod users that can now purchase all their music through Apple's terrific platform.

Sure Apple could shut down the Pre's ability to connect and sync music in a future release of iTunes. But why? Why would they cut off that potential revenue stream? Spite? I doubt it.

This is terrible, reactionary reporting. Do a little digging and report a little fact before going the lazy route and just reporting pure speculation.

Guest said:

It's pretty clear how Apple will respond to this. Can you say iTunes 9?

Guest said:

"By Julio Franco"

More like: "By Pre PR Department"

What a sad news site....

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

And yet ironically I happen to be an avid iPhone user...

Not really sure what's wrong with the story, it's about Palm showing off their upcoming device and how it's able to sync with iTunes without issue. I'm guessing this is a good thing as Palm hopes that many Apple users will transition to the Pre, but I'm personally not jumping ship.

Guest said:

What is wrong with this article is by saying Pre Dupes itunes it suggests that trickery is involved and that Apple doesn't permit such things.

Apple does support syncing to other devices and the Pre is taking advantage of this and advertising it... no duping involved.

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